It's never too early to give your children body-image issues. Doctors at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston have just published a study showing how they detected obesity in 6-month-olds.
"Children who were obese at age 24 months were highly likely to have been obese at age 6 months," according to the study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics. The study also lists "risk factors," which include "excessive intrapartum weight gain or being born large for gestational age....Primary care providers need to diagnose obesity in infants and work to develop effective interventions.
To Hair Balls, all this talk of "being born large" sounds like the played-out "big-boned" excuse that fatties have been bandying about for decades. Clearly, these diapered tubs of lard have been hitting the Gerber's hard. Moreover, they probably spend three-quarters of the day laying on their ever-widening heinies, staring at their mobiles instead of getting out in the fresh air for some cardio. Seriously -- when's the last time you saw a baby on a treadmill? Never happens.
Here, then, are some tips on how to take the tater out of the tot and turn him or her into a lean, mean crawlin' machine.
Teach them to spit up more after feedings: Babies only have a tentative grasp on bulimia. You can watch them down a whole bottle of formula or stuff their toothless maws with pureed fruit all you want, but when it comes time for the burping, they hardly throw anything up. Although infants' motor skills are sorely underdeveloped, spend some time teaching your baby to stick a finger down her throat to ensure a healthy, slimming purging. The results are quick, and it's a skill she can carry on into adolescence and beyond.
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Fen-phen: Although this anti-obesity pill was taken off the market in 2004 after a few crybabies complained about "permanent heart damage," this wonder drug is easily available via online pharmacies. Slip one of these into your big-bellied baby's Gerber at least once a day, and your newly thin tot will be the envy of the entire nursery.
Electrical ab-stimulator: Face it, babies are sedentary folk. Sociologists have not reached a consensus as to why babies are so lazy -- some studies show it's a cultural disposition, while other researchers suggest that stubby appendages make long-term mobilization nearly impossible. Whatever the reason, there's not much your six-month-old can do except sit there, stewing in its own cellulite, while its love handles slowly spill over the sides of those Lane Bryant Huggies. But just strap on one of these magical belts, plop the kid down in front of the tube, and let the electrical impulses zap away those folds of flab, exposing washboard abs. (Caution: make sure your baby does not try to eat the device).
These are just a few techniques you can use to make sure you have the healthiest infant on the block. Let us know of any other tricks that have worked for your little one!